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Abstract

The late Early Permian (c. 278–270 Ma) supra-subduction zone (SSZ) Dun Mountain ophiolite is bordered to the east by the Pataki Melange and to the NE by the Croisilles Melange. In the south, the ophiolite passes into a dismembered incipient oceanic arc (Otama Complex). The above units represent an oceanic forearc generated above a west-dipping subduction zone. Terrigenous sediment reached the subduction trench after the Mid-Permian(?) docking of the oceanic forearc with the long-lived SE Gondwana active continental margin. Mixed terrigenous–volcaniclastic turbidites accumulated in the trench prior to and during melange accretion. Fragments of the overriding oceanic forearc (and incipient arc, locally) detached and mixed to form melange and broken formation. Despite some individual features (e.g. of the basalt chemistry), the Patuki and Croisilles melanges are interpreted as originally representing a single Permian trench–accretionary complex. The more distal (easterly) part was sliced into the adjacent accretionary complex of the Caples Terrane to form the Croisilles Melange (and equivalent Greenstone Melange) probably after the Triassic. The South Island melanges exemplify accretionary processes in which igneous and sedimentary rocks were detached from the overriding plate by subduction–erosion, together with accretion, including seamount material from the subducting oceanic plate, with implications for melanges elsewhere.

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